Mothers and their children, each with a luggage were on the road throughout the day. Stranded women sat by the roadside. On our way to the schools, we found one such woman with a small child on her back. Another was seated beside her. A large, white sack was before them. The large number of children on the road and at the shopping center explained the sight of deser-
ted schools that would later confront us.
At Sierra Leone, women gathered in small groups. They later explained that it was out of fear.
“We do not sleep at night. We have lost appetite for food. We stay in groups because we are afraid. The presence of the police puts us in a situation of uncertainty. The children saw the police and scattered all over. We cannot even tell where some of them have gone. Some saw the men in uniform and went to hide deep in the forest, where we found them. Some are yet to be seen,” explains Alice Anunda.
Alice Anunda is among the mothers whose children had gone to school in the morning. She explained that she was shocked when the children returned home and reported that the police have said the schools are out of bounds to them.
“When they came back, they told me that the men in uniform had asked them to go home. The children said that the government has closed the schools,” Alice added.
She also pointed out that they are still yet to recover from the shock.
“We sold our farms and bought land here. Our homes are here and we have nowhere else we can call home. The frustrations we are undergoing cannot be expressed in words. I personally feel the pain as a mother. I do not know what will happen to us; myself and my children. We will just keep walking on the road. We cannot tell where we will be going to.”
Bornes Chemta Kemei, a mother of six and grandmother to four children, was so aggrieved she dared the government to send its officers to bury her alive.
“For a second time, my children will have no place. The government itself asked us to come back and occupy these lands. Let it come for us. We are also Kenyans and we have rights.”
She wondered, “what will happen to the children if they do not go to school?”